The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), has called on political parties to include the youth in the formulation of their policies and programmes in order for them to propose development strategies, which were beneficial to them.
“Research has found out that, the youth are mostly used by politicians for their personal gains and it is important for them to be involved in discussions and dialogues in policy development so that they can contribute to national development”, it said.
The event was organised by CDD-Ghana in collaboration with the Youth Bridge Foundation, with funding support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in Tamale.
It brought together youth groups and representatives of political parties in the country, and created an opportunity for the youth to engage the parties on their various development policies and programmes and how such policies were in the interest of the youth towards their development.
The Senior Programmes Officer in charge of social inclusion and legislative strengthening at the CDD-Ghana, Madam Regina Oforiwaa Amanfo, spoke at the event dubbed: “Youth Speaks Forum: Engendering National and Local Conversations on Youth Issues ahead of Election 2020”.
Madam Amanfo said it was time political parties consulted the youth for their views in making decisions and formulating policies and programmes which were about them.
“The narrative must change from what the political parties will do for the youth to what the youth want to be done for them. In that regard, the political parties and the youth must come together and discuss issues which will enhance their development”, she noted.
She advised the youth to desist from engaging in political violence before, during and after this year’s general election, saying they should resist any attempt being used by political actors for their personal gains.
The Executive Director of the Youth Bridge Foundation, Mr Seth Oteng, said the youth constituted greater proportion of the Ghanaian voter population and stressed on the need for them to be engaged in decision making which were towards national development.
He said their capacities must be built to empower them to participate in youth-centred policies.
Youth groups present at the event took turns to present their views and grievances to the political parties to incorporate them into their manifestos for redress.